Palm Sunday, 2005: Christians, Muslims, and Jews from Palestine and beyond came together to march in solidarity to Jerusalem, a holy city for the three major monotheistic religions. An Israeli military checkpoint currently prevents most Christians and Muslims living in Bethlehem and elsewhere in the West Bank from reaching the Holy City. On the way to the checkpoint, children held balloons and shouted cheers, and people of all ages rode donkeys to symbolize Jesus' famous journey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
On the road, protesters passed the fences and barbed wire that render Bethlehem more like a cage than a city. They passed the wall under construction, soon to change the cage into an open-air prison. Protesters passed views of fancy settlements on Palestinian farmland that has been annexed by Israel. When protesters reached the checkpoint, soldiers and metal gates prevented them from getting through. The demonstrators sat down, and a representative read aloud a letter from the people of Bethlehem to the soldiers
. Afterwards, protesters lingered to sing songs of freedom like "we shall overcome." Finally, protesters decided to leave together, rather than risk the confrontation turning violent.
Demonstrators came from diverse backgrounds and religions. Palestinian Christians and Muslims walk arm in arm with Jewish-Americans, a testimony to the truth about this struggle: that it concerns all peopleóno matter what age or background--who believe in equal rights regardless of ethnicity and religion.